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My most important role as Director General is to guide, facilitate and support the overall operation and management of ICIMOD as per the policies and strategies approved by the Board of Governors. As a unique institution dedicated to the service of mountain people by contributing towards their socio-economic and physical security, it is my responsibility to ensure that our multi-disciplinary, multi-national and multi-cultural team do not just have the professional expertise to provide knowledge-based solutions to current and emerging challenges but are also passionate and motivated in carrying out our mission. Personally, as someone from the region and from the mountains, I carry with me a deep sense of loyalty and commitment to our constituencies, the HKH mountains of our eight regional member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.
The HKH region is a very diverse region – geo-physically, ecologically, socio-culturally, politically and economically; and this requires a high degree of understanding and sensitivity in strategizing, planning and implementation of ICIMOD’s programmes and projects. Moreover, ICIMOD is supported through a consortium of funding sources that includes annual contributions from our regional member countries, core and programme funding from bilateral and multi-lateral development partners. It is my responsibility to ensure that our plans and programmes consider the multiple dimensions of diversity and that we respond to the needs and priorities of our constituents and have adequate financial resources. As an international center for mountains, ICIMOD is also the face and voice of the mountains in the international arena and a key role of the Director General is to represent the Centre at global fora, including the UNFCCC and UNFCB, besides other networks.
I will actively pursue my vision for ICIMOD, i.e. to further develop it into a globally recognized center of excellence on mountains and mountain peoples. Towards this end, it will be my endeavor to ensure the successful implementation of the “HKH Call to Action” that was recently endorsed by the governments of the eight regional member countries.
How do you protect the pulse of the planet?
I see the HKH mountains as the fountains of life. Being the source of the headwaters of 10 major rivers, they provide livelihood for millions of people living both within and beyond the region. Facilitating our regional member countries to engage in cross-border actions to reduce the impact of climate change on the cryosphere and protecting the rich biological and cultural diversity of the region will be keys to protecting the ‘pulse of the planet.’ I will build on our past achievements in further pushing the case of the mountains as a unique ecosystem that require urgent attention on the global agenda.
What is your favorite part of the work you do at ICIMOD?
ICIMOD provides me with a platform to meet people from different nations and cultural backgrounds and a continuous opportunity to learn and enrich my knowledge on mountains and mountain peoples. Working with a highly diverse team of professionals from the region and beyond to develop and implement policies and plans that contribute to protecting the fragile mountain ecosystems and improve the well-being of the local communities gives me much excitement and satisfaction.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about nature and people. ICIMOD offers me the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature and the bounty it provides to people. Likewise, it gives me opportunities to meet and interact with policy makers, scientists and development professionals and work with them to take care of our nature in ways that our future generations are not deprived of the rich cultural and biological heritage that the HKH region offers.